How Do You Find Your Beatbox Style?
Today we ask this common but complicated question.
Let’s take a deep dive into ways you can differentiate yourself with a little help from our expert friend, Alem - the 2015 World Champion.
Why find your style?
Finding your style is what defines you as a beatboxer. Being unique, inventive, and an expert at one aspect of beatboxing is what will make you stand above the rest. At the end of the day, having a unique style is what makes you, you.
1. There is no thing as complete originality
The first and most important thing we need to establish is that there is no such thing as complete originality. New sounds can be derived from a smart combination of old sounds and routines can be built and mashed up from other routines with your own unique twist to it.
"When I started beatbox, I wanted to imitate Kenny Muhammed. Because I loved this beatboxer. I thought it was important to learn his techniques. It was good to have the fundamentals and develop the basics of beatbox.
I saw him for technique and rhythm - I learned from Rahzel’s cover and musicality. I’ve been listening to Bloomer. I want to learn his beat - with his famous lip rolls - and incorporate that into my own routine." - Alem
2. Listen to music you love
Whether you start with Kygo and end up bumping to Frank Sinatra, exploration is key to finding your musical style. Discovering and being open to new genres will help you determine what kind of music you hate and what kind of music you love.
By solidifying what your musical taste is - but not limiting yourself completely to it - you will be provided an opportunity to study and scrutinize the style, structure, and composition of your favorite songs.
By digging deeper into why you love a certain song or a certain type of song, you’ll gain a better understanding of not only yourself, but become more passionate about melodies you are listening to. The German writer Goethe put it best when he once said, “we are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”
In the end, passion is driven by knowledge.
3. Push push push - and mess up!
B-Art explains in one of his interviews, that the way he creates new sounds is mostly by coming across them by mistake. He practices his routines while experimenting with new techniques and if he messes up one of his avant-garde demon noises, he ends up with another unique sound.
Push, keep practicing, and don’t be afraid to look and sound stupid. The quicker you get over that fact, the more confidence you will have to experiment and push forward.
4. Meet other beatboxers and get feedback
Community is extremely important when it comes to leveling up. Sharing sounds, giving feedback, being encouraged, and receiving constructive criticism will push you to the next level.
"I’ve always thought about “what is my style?” “Alem, come on? What is my style?” “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. You’re always training yourself, learning new sounds. It’s the outside and the public that determines your style. They’ll tell you what your style is.
I remember when I do my stuff on stage and do a rapid beat - everyone is cheering. I say, oh yeah! It’s good. When I make a more groovy beat - there was nothing in the audience. Then I said it was shit, then cut it out of my routine. I developed what the audience wanted. I continued what people reacted to." - Alem
For Alem, he did what the audience best reacted to. However, he later determined that his speed and technique was resonating with the audience because it was who he is as a human being.
"For me. It’s the feeling. I’m a dynamic and excited person in real life. When I want to buy a toy, I want to go buy it now! When I want to watch a video - I want it to watch it now! That’s why my style is nervous and fast - I can’t do the slow stuff like Dharni because I get frustrated want to beatbox fast." - Alem
5. Refine and repeat
After you’ve got a solid grasp of what to practice, it’s important to have solid fundamentals and focus on the details of your sounds. By concentrating on perfectly crafting the execution of each sound, you will jump from good to great.
"I beatbox alone before I go to sleep in my room. It’s very quiet - and I say this in my workshop. When you do a inward snare, it’s so different because your concentration is on the sound. The room is black and you are focused. This changed my skill for me." - Alem
6. Rest and diversify
Take the Reeps One approach and be sure to diversify your interests. A lot of beatboxers get caught up in watching beatbox videos all day without inspiration from the outside world and end up overthinking and overcomplicating things. However, it’s just as important to draw inspiration from other art forms, passions, and experiences to level up your personality and style.
Whether it’s taking up chess or spending time in nature, it’s important to keep your mind fresh and open to creative opportunities around you and at the end of the day ultimately discover what feels right.
Alem leaves us with this one piece of advice, "be patient and relax."
So don't worry if you don't get it immediately. Just keep leveling up and you'll find your way.
Thank you for reading everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the new and improved version of Human Beatbox.
We will greatly appreciate it if you gave us your thoughts and feedback about what’s going on! Please also feel free to ask us any questions you may have. We’ll be more than happy to answer them.
Don’t forget to like and share! Every little thing counts. Until next time!